They Wanted To Promote Their Product. You Won't Believe How They Did It!
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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After recently playing a few such games, I've become interested in games that were made to promote other non-game-related products. If you know of any, post them below and tell everyone about them, if you've played them, and if they were any good!
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1. Board Game: Camel: The Game [Average Rating:3.16 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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Produced, of course, to promote everyone's favorite: smooth Camel cigarettes.

An interesting idea executed poorly. Players each receive a hand of cards from a deck which consists of "C", "A", "M", "E", "L" and "Wild" cards. Players go around bidding a number and a letter. The next player must bid a higher number (of the same or a different letter) or pass. When all but one player has passed, the last man standing receives ALL cards of his bid letter that his opponents hold and then that player rolls the 6 dice (which have sides C, A, M, E, L, Wild) up to two times (setting aside any dice in between rolls) in an attempt to meet their bid using the dice and cards. If they do, they mark that letter off on a score sheet. The first player to mark off CAMEL wins! Also, if you ever roll CAMEL[Wild] on the dice, you win your bid immediately.

The rules don't specify any penalty for not meeting your bid, and that makes the game a bit wonky.

The game comes in a box that resembles an over-sized pack of cigarettes! Fun!
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2. Board Game: Spam The Dice Game [Average Rating:3.66 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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Who doesn't love SPAM?

This is a dice game with custom score sheets depicting various combinations of the different die faces (Spamburger, SPAM logo, short SPAM tin, tall SPAM tin, SPAM slab, and a wild face). You get a number or rolls (with the ability to set aside dice) to produce a valid combination, which then gets checked off your sheet. First person to complete all 12 combinations wins.

This game is noted for coming in a tin resembling an actual SPAM container. Interestingly, the picture on the back of the game tin depicts a much different score sheet with half as many (and simpler) combinations required. This teased shorter version is probably much better because...it would be shorter.
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3. Board Game: The Tootsie Roll Dice Game [Average Rating:3.30 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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A speed dice game. (Do you see a pattern emerging?) Each player gets six dice with faces of T, oo, ts, ie, Ro, ll. A card from a small deck is flipped that features a combination of six die faces such as oo-ts-oo-ts-oo-ts and then players frantically roll their dice. The first to set aside the required combination yells "Tootsie Roll" and collects the card as a point.

A mindless game. On the plus side, it comes in a container resembling a large tootsie roll. (Do you see a pattern emerging?) There are not enough combination cards to accommodate a game with the full compliment of players.
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4. Board Game: Tootsie Roll Train Game [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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This one I've never played. And I hadn't heard of it until trying to log my play of The Tootsie Roll Dice Game. There are zero owners on BGG and no plays logged.
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5. Board Game: Agri-Cup: The John Deere Farming Game [Average Rating:6.80 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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"Has fortune dealt you some bad cards. Then let wisdom make you a good gamester." - Francis Quarles
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This 1970s title is one of several farming games put out by various sellers of farm machinery. I mention this one because the John Deere brand is actually part of the title - others are more subtle.

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6. Board Game: Jiffy Pop Chef Boyardee Crunch'n Munch Home Team Baseball [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This game from packaged food giant ConAgra may hold the record for most brands in a game title: not one, not two, but three different products: Jiffy Pop popcorn, Chef Boyardee canned Italian food and Crunch'n Munch snack food.
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7. Board Game: The Game of Shopping [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
David Patterson
Canada
Ottawa
Ontario
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This 1879 title may be the earliest example of a branded game by a retailer. Strawbridge & Clothier was a department store at 8th and Market streets in Philadelphia, and published and gave away this game to promote awareness of their brand, location and range of goods available.

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8. Board Game: This Is Your Capital: Canberra Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
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What about a game made to promote an entire city! Roll and move through the beautiful vistas of 1980s Canberra, in which you race around the branching tracks trying to collect cards representing such dazzling locations as ... John Stevens Pharmacy ... Kegs Discount Liqour ... uh ... a real estate agent ...um ...

And as a special bonus, the game actually comes with a book of coupons giving you discounts at several of the locations featured in the game! Sadly, most of the coupons are now expired, and most of the ones that had no expiry date are for establishments that are now ... expired.
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9. Board Game: FleetBoard [Average Rating:7.08 Unranked]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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This is a pickup and deliver game that was commissioned by Mercedes-Benz to promote their fleet management software product. You start the game without having the FleetBoard product, which makes it hard to progress (there are a number of event cards that say "if you don't use FleetBoard, [this bad thing happens]; if you do, [this good (or at least not so bad) thing happens.]" Eventually you manage to afford the product, which sets you up to succeed and win the game.

When we play, we start each player off with the FleetBoard product (a variant that reduces the play time quite a bit.) It's fun if you like pickup and deliver games. Unfortunately, it's hard to get (I don't own a copy.)
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10. Board Game: Fantastische Ballonreise [Average Rating:3.67 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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A game promoting the Fanta line of soft drinks. Just one play recorded on BGG. Thanks to BGG user heli for the heads-up.
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11. Board Game: Kool-Aid Kid's Trivia Game [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
PK WADDLE
United States
Austin
texAS
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I would think this fits in this list.
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12. Board Game: Malwarium [Average Rating:7.00 Unranked]
Brian B.
United States
Nashua
New Hampshire
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I'm one of two BGG users owning this game. It is a Dixit clone made by Kaspersky Labs, the Russia-based cyber-security company. The cards are in the same art style of the original Dixit, and many feature references to modern technology.

It's not a 100% knockoff, however. The scoretrack has special spaces. If your piece is on one of these spaces you are required to follow its special rule when you are the storyteller. Some examples: The clue may only use 4 words, the clue must be based on a movie, the clue must be a question, etc.
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13. Board Game: Poleconomy [Average Rating:5.40 Overall Rank:14228]
Dave Peters
United States
Belmont
California
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Powers:Coleridge:Milton: Faith...must be, if anything, a clear-eyed recognition of the patterns and tendencies, to be found in every piece of the world's fabric, which are the lineaments of God.
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That's Tim Powers' fictional Samuel Coleridge "quoting" John Milton in _The Anubis Gates_.
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I've only played the Canadian version (which is why I've used that one as the image), but the Poleconomy Wikipedia Article claims that the (original) Australian version (and other nationalized versions) have the same property.

It's a superficially Monopoly-esque roll-and-move. But instead of the buyable spaces being Street Names, they're companies that paid money for the placement. "More than 1.5 million copies of Poleconomy have been sold internationally, incorporating the participation of 260 major corporate sponsors who leased advertising space in the separate national versions."
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14. Board Game: Hawaiian Punch [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
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LOVED this game as a kid - SMASH!
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15. Board Game: Möbelrücken, oder: Wie kommt denn der Toaster ins Schlafzimmer? [Average Rating:4.00 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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This was produced for IKEA. Someone could probably make a decent game about furnishing a house using IKEA products, and someone could probably make a decent game about shopping at IKEA, but unfortunately this is a simple set-collection game which isn't very good.
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16. Board Game: Das große Unternehmen Erdgas [Average Rating:5.53 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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This was produced for Information Erdgas, which I gather was a West German natural gas industry group.

It's of more interest than most of these games because it's by Wolfgang Kramer and is a clear ancestor of Wildlife Adventure and thus the various iterations of Expedition. But it's not nearly as good - it's not awful, but the later games are a lot better.
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17. Board Game: Future [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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This was produced by Kaiser Aluminum. It doesn't have much if anything to do with aluminum - instead it's about predicting future technological and sociological developments. Interesting to play once. One of the designers also co-designed Summit and Square Mile.
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18. Board Game: Tele-Fun [Average Rating:3.00 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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This was designed to train salespeople on AT&T's new Merlin Communication System. Since it's by Sid Sackson it has some nice touches, but it's still not something worth playing except for the novelty value.
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19. Board Game: Grade Up to Elite Cow [Average Rating:4.57 Unranked]
Dan Blum
United States
Wilmington
Massachusetts
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Produced for The British Friesian Cattle Society of Great Britain and Ireland. It is the best game about cattle insemination I have played.
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20. Board Game: The Communication in Catan [Average Rating:7.70 Unranked]
Florian Woo
Germany
Stuttgart
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This was a promotional version of Catan, where you have to build up LANs/WANs and other communication networks for the settlers. Makes sense somehow: the settlers have already settled but have the urge to use the Internet :-)
The robber was replaced with a government regulation team, that forces you to stop building broadband because of new regulations.

Alcatel gave this item away for free at fairs and also to some of their apprentices. A very rare collectors item today, afaik.

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21. Board Game: Das Wasser des Lebens [Average Rating:7.52 Overall Rank:5225]
Frank Eisenhauer
India
New Delhi
Delhi
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Also a promotional variant of Catan:
"Issued in partnership with the Glen Grant Distillery Company. The game itself is basically identical, but the theme is centered around Scotch whisky production. As Scottish Highlanders, players collect wood, stones, barley, peat, and clear spring water. With these materials they build roads and distilleries. The all too familiar robber from Settlers of Catan has become the "oppressive force"."
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22. Board Game: Spices of the World [Average Rating:4.68 Overall Rank:14506]
Frank Eisenhauer
India
New Delhi
Delhi
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"Spices of the World is a simple luck-based game with spice trading as its theme. It was designed as a promotion for the McCormick Spice Company "
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23. Board Game: Amsterdams Gezelschapsspel [Average Rating:3.55 Unranked]
Mark Wright
United Kingdom
Stockton-on-tees
Teesside
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One of a number of versions used to promote cities across Germany and Holland
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24. Board Game: Funkenschlag: EnBW [Average Rating:8.31 Overall Rank:2567]
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
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This is a version of Power Grid that was commissioned by the Baden-Württemberg power company, EnBW. It is fully able to stand with the other Power Grid versions: it has a few rule differences, just like the others, and it's an enjoyable game.
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25. Board Game: Het Grote DE Koffiespel [Average Rating:5.51 Unranked]
Euan McLeod
Netherlands
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Coffee!

The biggest coffee company in the Netherlands offered this game to anyone with enough coupons in the mid 80s. You get to buy coffee beans at various market prices, try to upgrade it into the best marketable coffee you can and then sell it for a profit.

I used to love this as a kid and our family played it many sunday afternoons. By todays standard it would be way too simple and without any interesting choices, but i still own a copy and sometimes look at it with fond memories.
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